Conversation: "Hope"





After Matthias lets them into the treasury room, Cecily will procure something, a table, stool or chair, upon which she can set up the mirror.

"Hopefully," she says as she begins adjusting the mirror to get used to the new ellipse, "we can use this to track down Fletcher and the others, rather than just riding

"Really," Matthias says with some interest. "I've only heard of such artifacts."

She'll move aside a bit so he can get a look at what she's doing. "It works on an ellipse," she explains as she tilts the mirror. "One focus being the mirror itself, and the other being Ygg. It's been annoying as hell to work with so far, because every time we went to a different shadow, the focus would change."

"Fascinating. And you can actually look into other shadows with this device... who constructed such a thing?"

Cecily nods. "As for who constructed it, I'm clueless. I just stole it from Zamorna."

He laughs in amazement. "You just stole it? Uhm...."

His reaction elicits a rueful grin. "It wasn't quite that simple... You see, Zamorna has a long-running interest in the Greyfalcon clan, apparently. My brother, Harry, is a necromancer of some note, and Zamorna intends to use Harry to reanimate Brand. And he intends to use me as leverage to obtain Harry's cooperation."

She rolls her eyes. "He caught up with us in Lewella's realm, and kidnapped me and Harry. I swiped the mirror when we escaped. I figured it was a fair trade for the indignity, and the sowrd I lost."

"I see..." he watches the mirror for a bit as she moves it.

"He'd been using to spy on Amber."

He frowns. "Do you know to what end? Is he planning an invasion?"

Cecily shrugs. "I honestly have no idea, though that's probably an accurate guess. Given his interest in Amber, and reanimating this Brand..."

"Amber would not be able to resist a true invasion, in her current state," he says quietly. He looks around at the bare walls of the treasury. "There was a time when this room was filled with gold and jewels." He taps an enameled wooden box that is on the table next to your mirror. "This is all that remains-- the Crown and the Sceptor."

"I wondered why you always seemed so sad-" She stops, looking slightly embarrased.

He's quick on the uptake, and in turn looks embarrassed as well. "Ah, yes. Well, it's difficult enough to live on the edges of a crumbling empire. It's not any easier if you're at the center of it, and unable to really do anything about it."

"How long have you been in charge here?"

"On and off since I reached my majority. For thirty years."

"A long time to have to witness all this," she gestures about her.

"A long, frustrating time. How long have you been on your quest for Amber?"

"Me personally? A few weeks. I think the same for the others, but who knows." She chuckles. "Hasn't been all that different from my usual career."

"Your usual career... seems to have been very active." He nods to the various weaponry on her person.

She laughs. "'Active' is a good word for it. Demonslaying isn't for the slothful."

He starts to grin. "I'm sure not. That's one thing we haven't had to confront here, so I don't know what career opportunities there are for you in Amber."

"I'm sure I can find *some* trouble to keep me occupied. I've got some military training from way back. And I'm not too particular as to the humanity of the bad guys I beat up." She smiles. "I'm also very good at irritating people... and no offense, but in that meeting, you looked like you could use someone who isn't constrained by court etiquette to make a few points."

"Does that mean you're sticking around, then?"

"For now, at least." She fiddles with the mirror a moment, frowning. "The farther away I am from Kazor, the safer my brother is."

He nods. "Well, I'm glad." He slowly rises from his seat. "I'll assume I can trust you not to take the Crown jewels, what's left of them." He hands her a small key. "Lock up when you leave."

"It's not like I can pawn them hereabouts," she says, taking the key. "Thank you, Matthias. And good night."

He pauses at the door and turns. "I'm altogether glad you're here, Cecily, you and your companions. It gives me hope. Good night."

"I'm glad it gives hope to someone."


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